2 Kings 14-15 part 8


Tonight we will start out by looking at Amaziah’s reign over Judah. 2 Kings 14 leaves us with several unanswered questions about Amaziah, however 2 Chr. 25 answers all those questions, so we will spend most of our time in 2 Chr. account.


2 Chronicles 25:1 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.  2 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a loyal heart.  3 Now it happened, as soon as the kingdom was established for him, that he executed his servants who had murdered his father the king.  4 However he did not execute their children, but did as it is written in the Law in the Book of Moses, where the LORD commanded, saying, "The fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall the children be put to death for their fathers; but a person shall die for his own sin."


Amaziah begins his reign at age 25 and 2 Kings account tells us that he followed in his fathers footstep and was not faithful like David. He took revenge on those that murdered his father, but he did not kill their sons because of the Law Moses found in Deut 24:16. This is an important statement because it proves the Moses Law and book of Deuteronomy existed before this time. The reason this is important is because some people try to say that the first 5 books of the Bible were written some time after the book of Kings.


2 Chronicles 25:5 Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together and set over them captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, according to their fathers' houses, throughout all Judah and Benjamin; and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and found them to be three hundred thousand choice men, able to go to war, who could handle spear and shield.  6 He also hired one hundred thousand mighty men of valor from Israel for one hundred talents of silver.  7 But a man of God came to him, saying, "O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the LORD is not with Israel -- not with any of the children of Ephraim.  8 "But if you go, be gone! Be strong in battle! Even so, God shall make you fall before the enemy; for God has power to help and to overthrow."  9 Then Amaziah said to the man of God, "But what shall we do about the hundred talents which I have given to the troops of Israel?" And the man of God answered, "The LORD is able to give you much more than this." 


So, Amaziah is ready to go battle and he doesn’t feel like he has enough men on his side so he hires these 100,000 men from Israel to help, but this unnamed man of God tells him not to take these men of Israel because God is not with them and if he does then he will lose against the Edomites. As we read Amaziah was worried about the money he had already spent, but the man of God of assures him that God can provide him much more money than he lost buying the Israel soldiers. This shows us that God will provide and we shouldn’t worry about money or material things.


10 So Amaziah discharged the troops that had come to him from Ephraim, to go back home. Therefore their anger was greatly aroused against Judah, and they returned home in great anger.  11 Then Amaziah strengthened himself, and leading his people, he went to the Valley of Salt and killed ten thousand of the people of Seir.  12 Also the children of Judah took captive ten thousand alive, brought them to the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, so that they all were dashed in pieces.


Amaziah listens to the man of God and sends the Ephraimites back home and he goes and attacks and kills 10,000 men at the Valley of Salt. Then they kill 10,000 more men and very brutal way by casting them off a tall rock to their deaths. Since it says they were dashed to pieces, I assume they were being thrown onto some jagged rock below.


 13 But as for the soldiers of the army which Amaziah had discharged, so that they would not go with him to battle, they raided the cities of Judah from Samaria to Beth Horon, killed three thousand in them, and took much spoil.  


These men of Ephraim decide to take their anger out on Judah, so the kill these 3000 people and steal what goods they could find.


2 Chronicles 25:14 Now it was so, after Amaziah came from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the people of Seir, set them up to be his gods, and bowed down before them and burned incense to them.  15 Therefore the anger of the LORD was aroused against Amaziah, and He sent him a prophet who said to him, "Why have you sought the gods of the people, which could not rescue their own people from your hand?"  16 So it was, as he talked with him, that the king said to him, "Have we made you the king's counselor? Cease! Why should you be killed?" Then the prophet ceased, and said, "I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not heeded my advice."


Here were we see Amaziah following in his farther’s footsteps because his father good during the first part of his reign, but in the end he turned to worshiping idols. Now, Amaziah is showing that he is not faithful to God alone. He takes these foreign Gods and he worships them. God gives him a chance to redeem himself, but he would not listen to the man of God and now he is going to be punished. 2 Kings account doesn’t give us this information and so this answer the question of why this king would be punished by northern kingdom even though God is not for them.


2 Chronicles 25:17 Now Amaziah king of Judah asked advice and sent to Joash the son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, "Come, let us face one another in battle."  18 And Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, "The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, 'Give your daughter to my son as wife'; and a wild beast that was in Lebanon passed by and trampled the thistle.  19 "Indeed you say that you have defeated the Edomites, and your heart is lifted up to boast. Stay at home now; why should you meddle with trouble, that you should fall -- you and Judah with you?"


Whoever Amaziah got advice from, it wasn’t from God and now he wants to fight the northern kingdom. Joash, King of Israel warns him not to make this mistake because if he does he will be destroyed.


2 Chronicles 25:20 But Amaziah would not heed, for it came from God, that He might give them into the hand of their enemies, because they sought the gods of Edom.  21 So Joash king of Israel went out; and he and Amaziah king of Judah faced one another at Beth Shemesh, which belongs to Judah.  22 And Judah was defeated by Israel, and every man fled to his tent.


Judah was defeated by the kingdom of Israel. Now lets pick back up in 2 Kings.


2 Kings 14:13 Then Jehoash king of Israel captured Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Jehoash, the son of Ahaziah, at Beth Shemesh; and he went to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate -- four hundred cubits.  14 And he took all the gold and silver, all the articles that were found in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the king's house, and hostages, and returned to Samaria.  15 ¶ Now the rest of the acts of Jehoash which he did -- his might, and how he fought with Amaziah king of Judah -- are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?  16 So Jehoash rested with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. Then Jeroboam his son reigned in his place.


Just as Jehoash said, he defeated Judah and even captured Amaziah alive. He then proceeded to tear down part of the wall that protected Jerusalem and stole the gold and silver from the temple and the king’s house. Don’t you know that Amaziah was kicking himself knowing that he brought this misfortune on himself because he wasn’t loyal to God? He would have plenty of time think about what he did wrong and how he should have been faithful to the Lord because he was left alive and apparently was released by Joash to go back Jerusalem after he had done all these to Jerusalem. We will see this happen in next verses. When Jehoash king of Israel dies, his son Jeroboam reins in his place.


2 Kings 14:17 Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, lived fifteen years after the death of Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel.  18 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?  19 And they formed a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish and killed him there.  20 Then they brought him on horses, and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the City of David.  21 And all the people of Judah took Azariah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah.  22 He built Elath and restored it to Judah, after the king rested with his fathers.


So, 15 years later his own people kill him and they put his son Azariah, a 16 year old,  in his place as King. We learn more about him in chapter 15.


2 Kings 14:23 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, became king in Samaria, and reigned forty-one years.  24 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD; he did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin.  25 He restored the territory of Israel from the entrance of Hamath to the Sea of the Arabah, (air-ah-bah) according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which He had spoken through His servant Jonah the son of Amittai, (a-mit-ih) the prophet who was from Gath Hepher.  26 For the LORD saw that the affliction of Israel was very bitter; and whether bond or free, there was no helper for Israel.  27 And the LORD did not say that He would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven; but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.  28 ¶ Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did -- his might, how he made war, and how he recaptured for Israel, from Damascus and Hamath, what had belonged to Judah -- are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?  29 So Jeroboam rested with his fathers, the kings of Israel. Then Zechariah his son reigned in his place.


Here we are given a little bit more information about Jeroboam. Basically, he was like all the other kings of Israel they followed the idolatrous way of Jeroboam the first king of the northern kingdom. Once again, God tried to get Israel to go back the right way. He sent Jonah, which is the same Jonah we read about in the book of Jonah. He also had Amos and Hosea trying to convince them as well, but  Jeroboam would not listen. However, we see the great mercy and compassion that God had for his people, because he allowed Jereboam to reclaim part of their territory and to overcome their enemies at this time.


This should speak volumes to us today. If God had that much mercy on these sinful people, think about how much mercy he has for us who are striving to serve him. This should give us confidence in our salvation because even when we mess us from time to time we can know that God will show us mercy because he knows that we are not perfect. God’s mercy and his grace is not license for us to sin freely, but it should cause us to rejoice knowing that he will have mercy on us and will extend his grace toward us.


Finally, we learn that Zechariah becomes the next king of Israel. As we enter into 2 Kings 15 we will learn about king Azariah of Judah who is also called Uzziah in 2 Chr. account.

Once again, 2 Chr. gives much more detail of this king and what he did so we will be focusing in on 2 Chr. account.


2 Chronicles 26:1 Now all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah.  2 He built Elath and restored it to Judah, after the king rested with his fathers.  3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem.  4 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.  5 He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.


Uzziah had long reign of 52 years and he did a lot of good for Judah as long as he stayed faithful to the Lord. He was able to defend Judah against their enemies and they began to prosper under his reign, but even though he started out doing things that were right in the sight of God, we will see at the end of his reign that goes down hill.


2 Chronicles 26:6 Now he went out and made war against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath, the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities around Ashdod and among the Philistines.  7 God helped him against the Philistines, against the Arabians who lived in Gur Baal, and against the Meunites.  8 Also the Ammonites brought tribute to Uzziah. His fame spread as far as the entrance of Egypt, for he became exceedingly strong.  9 And Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate, and at the corner buttress of the wall; then he fortified them.  10 Also he built towers in the desert. He dug many wells, for he had much livestock, both in the lowlands and in the plains; he also had farmers and vinedressers in the mountains and in Carmel, for he loved the soil.  11 Moreover Uzziah had an army of fighting men who went out to war by companies, according to the number on their roll as prepared by Jeiel (jih –eye- uhl) the scribe and Maaseiah (may-uh-sye-uh) the officer, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king's captains.  12 The total number of chief officers of the mighty men of valor was two thousand six hundred.  13 And under their authority was an army of three hundred and seven thousand five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.  14 Then Uzziah prepared for them, for the entire army, shields, spears, helmets, body armor, bows, and slings to cast stones.  15 And he made devices in Jerusalem, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and the corners, to shoot arrows and large stones. So his fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped till he became strong.


As you can see Uzziah had done many great things for Judah while he remained faithful to God, but now watch what happens as we continue on.


2 Chronicles 26:16 But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the LORD his God by entering the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.  17 So Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him were eighty priests of the LORD -- valiant men.  18 And they withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, "It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from the LORD God."  19 Then Uzziah became furious; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense. And while he was angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead, before the priests in the house of the LORD, beside the incense altar.  20 And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and there, on his forehead, he was leprous; so they thrust him out of that place. Indeed he also hurried to get out, because the LORD had struck him.  21 King Uzziah was a leper until the day of his death. He dwelt in an isolated house, because he was a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD. Then Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land.  22 ¶ Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, from first to last, the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz wrote.  23 So Uzziah rested with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of burial which belonged to the kings, for they said, "He is a leper." Then Jotham his son reigned in his place.


Uzziah had let all his success go to his head. Now, he was trying to burn this incense in the temple, which was supposed to be done by the priest. When Azariah, the chief priest, points this out it just makes Uzziah mad. While he was standing there with the incense in his hand, God struck him with leprosy. Then 80 priest threw him out of the temple and he had to live the rest of his life as a leper because of what he had done and he was cut off from the house of the Lord. Even when he died, he was not allowed to be buried with the kings. Instead, he was buried in the field close to the kings and his son Jotham reined in his place.  


There are least 2 main lessons we have learned tonight. First, God is a very merciful God and He doesn’t want His people to suffer, but if they continue to turn their backs on Him justice will eventually be served. Second, we learned that a person must give all of themselves to God and they must remain faithful because if you don’t you can find yourself as a enemy of God. We saw this with King Amaziah and Kind Azariah of Judah as both of these men started out faithful to the Lord, but in the end, they found themselves facing the wrath of God. So, if we want to be pleasing to God today, we must love God with whole mind, heart and soul and learn to fight the good fight of faith until the day we die.